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Archive for March, 2012

46. Poland

There’s an uneasy gloom in the late autumn afternoon.
My solitary footsteps clatter on cement paths between rows of silent, brooding barracks.
I throw the power switch, step inside
and the lights clack on like dominoes falling.
Auschwitz deserted but for me and the tears of thousands of mortal souls.

 

jpm

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45. Wales

My god it’s cold out here.
Seeping, insidious, creeping cold.
Stealing up from the ground underneath my tent, pitched in the lee of Offa’s Dyke –
Idiot I am to have forgotten my camp mat in the middle of winter.
Thermals irrelevant: might as well be naked.
How long till dawn?

 

jpm

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The train, along with the entire country, grinds to a halt.
For three days.
Goat innards, strung out to dry with the washing,
mark the start of Eid
in baking El Jem.
Dusty streets are strangely silent
as families break fast together
beneath the ancient gaze of Rome’s crumbling colosseum.

jpm

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Peering into Vermeer,
I saw the light of a soft human face peering back at me: fresh, real.
Singing with life.
350 years old.
If I reached out and poked her delicate features, would she say ’ouch’?

More likely, the unsmiling guards would poke the ‘ouch’ out of me instead.

jpm

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